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Monday, July 22nd, 2024
the Week of Proper 11 / Ordinary 16
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Bible Commentaries
Matthew 12

Garner-Howes Baptist CommentaryGarner-Howes

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Verse 1


1) "At that time Jesus went," (en ekeino to kairo eporeuthe ho lesous) "At that time, season or period of time, Jesus went out," from the Capernaum area where he had rebuked and predicted judgment upon her, Matthew 11:23.

2) "On the sabbath day through the corn;" (tois sabbatasin dis ton sporimon) "On the sabbath through the cornfields," Leviticus 25:4, traveling across them in His journey. The sabbath was set aside as a day of man’s needed rest from the time of creation, Genesis 2:3, then renewed under the law, Exodus 16:23; Exodus 20:8-11; Exodus 31:13-17.

3) "And his disciples were an hungered," (hoi de mathetai autoi epeinagan) "And his disciples hungered," became or came to be hungry, in travel, without food. It was possibly the first sabbath after the second day of the Passover.

4) "And began to pluck the ears of corn and to eat." (kai erksato tillein stachus kai esthiein) "And they began to pluck and to eat ears of corn," corn perhaps referred to either barley, which ripens there in April, about the time of the Passover, or to wheat which ripens in May. The plucking of the corn, or small grain, with the hands was approved under the law, Deuteronomy 23:25. See also Mr 2:23; Luke 6:1.

Verse 2

1) "But when the Pharisees saw it," (hoi de pharisaioi idontes) "Then when the Pharisees observed it," as they watched Him with malice, sought occasion for offense against Him; Matthew 3:7 describes who and what the Pharisees and Sadducees really were.

2) "They said unto him," (eipan auto) "They said to him, critically," as fault-finders who had made up their minds not to like Him or anything He did.

3) "Behold, thy disciples do that which is not lawful," (idou hoi mathetai iou poioudin ho ouk ebestin) "Just look at (perceive) what your disciples are doing; It is what is not lawful;" They did not tell the truth. They could, not put a sickle in, to harvest the grain of a neighbor, but could pluck it to meet an hunger, under the law, Deuteronomy 23:25.

4) "To do upon the sabbath day." (poiein en sabbaton) "To do (at all) on a sabbath day;" This prohibition was invented by he Pharisees, not written in the Mosaic Law. They had added it to the law, a thing God forbade, Proverbs 30:6. It was servile work only that was forbidden on the sabbath day.

Verse 3

1) "But he said unto them," (ho de eipen autois) "Then he responded to them," to their erroneous complaint, accepting the challenge of the Pharisees, and defending His disciples.

2) "Have ye not read what David did," (ouk anegnote ti epoiesen David) "Did you all never read what David did;" Have you all not both the spirit and letter of a Divine precedent example of this, as given concerning David, in your own book, the one you teach and claim to believe? 1 Samuel 21:1-6.

3) "When he was an hungered," (hote epeinasen) "When he hungered," "at a particular time when he hungered," on a sabbath day.

4) "And they that were with him;" (kai hoi met’autou) "And those who were with him," what they did, as a precedent for what the disciples, my followers are doing? on the sabbath, as provided in, not prohibited by the law, Deuteronomy 23:25.

Verse 4

1) "How he entered into the house of God," (pos eiselthen eis ten ton oikon tou theou) "How that he entered into the very house of God," not merely a cornfield. par

2) "And did eat the shew bread," (kai tous artous tes protheseos ephagon) "And he ate the loaves of the setting forth," the loaves of sacred shewbread, the consecrated -bread, Leviticus 24:5-6; Exodus 25:30.

3) "Which was not lawful for him to eat," (ho ouk ekson en auto phagein) "Which it was not lawful for him (not being a priest) to eat," because he was not of the priestly tribe or caste, Leviticus 24:9.

4) "Neither for them which were with him," (oude tois met’ autou) "Neither was it lawful for those who were with him," since they were perhaps not priests.

5) "But only for the priests?" (ei me heire usin monois) "Except (but) it was lawful for the priests only to eat it," the chief of whom gave it to them to eat; Mr 2:26 states that this occurred in the time that Abiathar was high priest.

Verse 5

1) "Or have ye not read in the law," (e ouk anegnote en to nomo) "Or did you all not read in the law," or understand the precedent meaning thereof, that double offerings required on the sabbath, plus the fresh baked shewbread, without some service work by the priests and their aids, Numbers 28:9; Leviticus 24:5; 1 Chronicles 9:32.

2) "How that on the sabbath days," (hoti tois sabbasin) "That on the sabbaths," as a matter of requirement, though they did not seem to understand it.

3) "The priests in the temple profane the sabbath," (hoi heireis en to hiero to sabbaton bebelousin) "The priests in the temple profane the sabbath," in performing circumcision for a child (male), on the eighth day after his birth, John 7:22-23.

4) "And are blameless?" (kai anaitioi eisin) "And are guiltless?" are held guiltless, without blame, though they profane the sabbath? Under certain circumstances, such as described above.

Verse 6

1) "But I say unto you," (lego de humin) "Then (if you do recall it), l tell you all;" Hunger’s human need took precedence over both the sabbaths (holy days) and the temple (an holy place). Even so, obedience to Christ and His church work, took priority over temple ceremonies and the law of Moses.

2) "That in this place in one greater than the temple." (hoti tou hierou meizon estin hode) "That a greater (one or thing) than the temple is here," the one these disciples were following, and His church that they were serving, in their hunger, was greater than the former temple service and priest-servants. This was a mighty blow to the intelligence and arrogant pride of the fault­finding Pharisees, as also expressed, Hebrews 3:3-6.

Verse 7

1) "But if ye had known what this meaneth" (ei de egnokeite ti estin) "But if you all (you Pharisees) had realized what is (or exists)," which indicates that they did not understand what the oracle meant, Matthew 9:13.

2) "I will have mercy and not sacrifice," (eleos thelo kai ou thusian) I desire mercy and not (just) sacrifice," as proclaimed Hosea 6:6; Mic 6:6-8; 10:10; Matthew 11:20; Hebrews 13:15-16.

3) "Ye would not have condemned the guiltless." (ouk an katedikasate tous anaitious) "You all would not have condemned the guiltless," or the innocent, as you have in, condemning prophets before me, including John the Baptist, and Jesus Himself; Jesus was that innocent or guiltless one they had also condemned with His disciples, Acts 7:51-53; 1 Corinthians 2:8.

Verse 8

1) "For the Son of man," (gar ho huios tou anthropou) "Because the Son of man," our Messiah, our Great Head and representative, Matthew 5:17-18; Hebrews 4:4; Hebrews 4:9; Luke 4:16; John 5:17-18.

2) "Is Lord even of the sabbath day." (kurios estin tou sabbatou) "Is (exists as) Lord of the sabbath," of the seventh day sabbath; He has the right, the prerogative to interpret it, to preside over it, to ennoble it by merging it into or, supporting it by the Lord’s Day, Revelation 1:10: Acts 16:13.

Verse 9


1) "And when he was departed thence," (kai metabas ekeithen) "And upon moving from that place;" the place is not named, but apparently somewhere in upper Galilee, on another sabbath, Luke 6:6, "to teach."

2) "He went into their synagogue:" (elthen eis ten sunagogen auton) "He came into their synagogue;" the synagogue of the Pharisees, as was His custom on that day, Luke 6:6-10; Mr 3:1-6.

Verse 10

1) "And, behold, there was a man which had his hand withered," (kai idou anthropos cheira achon kseran) "And behold there was a man (in there) with a withered hand," an hand that was paralyzed, a dry or dried-up hand, without feeling, a useless hand for a working man; and Luke 6:6 states a "right hand."

2) "And they asked him, saying," (kai eperotesan auton legontes) "And they repeatedly questioned him inquiring;" They questioned Him for entrapment purposes, observing Him, Mr 3:2.

3) "Is it lawful to heal on the sabbath days?" (ei eksestin tois sabbasin therapeusai) "is it lawful to heal on the sabbath?" Their inquiry was one of devious nature, with ulterior motives, involving all sabbaths of the Jews.

4) "That they might accuse him." (hina katagoresosin autou) "In order that they might accuse him," of being a lawbreaker, an immoral and unethical person; or were they to accuse Him of not doing good on the sabbath, if He did not heal the paralytic? They likely had fixed their minds to accuse Him, no matter whether He healed or did not heal the man, Acts 7:51-53.

Verse 11

1) "And he said unto them," (ho de eipen autois) "Then he quizzed them, as he inquired," knowing the purpose of their devious questions and obstinate hearts, Proverbs 6:18; Proverbs 11:20; Proverbs 12:8.

2) "What man shall there be among you,” (tios estai eks humon anthropos) "What man is there of you all," if you have any humanity in you, any human compassion. Humanity was lacking in Pharisaic character, Luke 15:2-3.

3) "That shall have one sheep," (hos heksei probaton hen) "Who will have (even) one sheep;" As the story is further embodied, Luke 15:3-7. The one sheep answers to the one working hand, or right hand, Luke 6:6.

4) "And if it fall into a pit on the sabbath day," (kai ean empese touto tois sabbasin eis bothunon) "And if this one sheep should fall into a ditch on the sabbath," or into a pit, something a sheep was likely to do. Not to do good when one can, is to do evil, and not to save life, when one can, is to kill, James 4:17.

5) "Will he not lay hold on it," (ouchi kratesei auto kai egeirei) "Will he not lay hold of it and raise it out of the ditch?" A righteous man would lift it out, Proverbs 12:10. That is what an owner with ordinary kindness would do, even an unsaved man, to help the afflicted, the physically fallen and helpless sheep, see? And thus he would violate the day, wouldn’t he? Mr 3:2 adds, "Is it lawful to do good on the sabbath days, or to do evil? to save life or to kill? But they held their peace." Luke 6:8-9.

Verse 12

1) "How much more then is a man better than a sheep?" (posp oun diapherei anthropos probatou) "By how much greater value then does a man surpass a sheep?" In how many respects then is a hungry or afflicted man better than a sheep?

2) "Wherefore it is lawful to do well on the sabbath days." (hoste ekestin tois sabbasin kalos poiein) "So that it is lawful (according to your own practice) to do well or good on the sabbaths." For even a righteous man "regardeth the life of his beast," Proverbs 12:10. And man is of more worth or value in the sight of God than a beast, Deuteronomy 25:4; 1 Corinthians 9:7-10; Ecclesiastes 3:21.

Verse 13

1) "Than saith he to the man," (tote legei ton anthropo) "At that moment he said to the man with the paralytic hand," to the man with the withered, unfeeling hand.

2) "Stretch forth your hand." (ekteinon sou ten cheira) "Stretch out your hand," the withered or paralyzed one, the lifeless right hand” Luke 6:6.

3) "And he stretched it forth:" (kai ekseteinen) "And he stretched it forth," straightened it out; life returned to it, at the word of Jesus, and the man obeyed His Lord, Luke 6:10.

4) "And it was restored whole, like as the other." (kai apekatestathe hugies hos he alle) "And it was restored as healthy as the other," the one that was already well, as also, recounted Mr 3:5. Such Divine, miraculous power was designed to show two things: 1) First, that He was Lord of the sabbath, and 2) Second, a sign by which men might believe, in and, receive Him as the Savior, John 20:30-31.

Verse 14

1) "Then the Pharisees went out," (ekselthontes de hoi Pharisaioi) "Then the Pharisees upon going out," and away from the synagogue where they had come with their evil designs to entrap Him, with what they thought were loaded questions, Matthew 12:10.

2) "And held a council against him," (sumboulion elabon kata autou) "Took to themselves counsel (or entered into collusion) against him," against Jesus, with a view to liquidate or murder Him, John 5:16; John 5:18.

3) "How they might destroy him." (hopos auton apolesosin) "So that they might destroy him," wipe Him out, or put Him away, as prophesied Psalms 2:2; they charged Him with blasphemy, because He claimed to be the Son of God, John 10:22; They and their kind of Jews eventually did kill Him, 1 Thessalonians 2:14-15. Prior to this they had contented themselves in finding fault and criticizing the Lord; But now, having sinned against more light, and hardened their own hearts, they proceeded to lay a plot to slay the Lord, and would not now be content until their wicked plot was carried out. They sought, not merely to get rid of Jesus, but how they might do it, without disturbing the masses, or letting them know what they had plotted to do, Luke 6:11; Mr 3:6. They also enlisted the political party of Herodians to aid and abet them in their wicked goal, Matthew 22:15-16.

Verse 15


V. 15-21

1) "But when Jesus knew it," (ho de lesous gnous) "Then Jesus knowing what they were doing or attempting," not because of anything they said, but because of his omniscience - because He knoweth (continually) what is in man, John 2:25; 1 John 3:20.

2) "He withdrew himself from thence:" (anechroresen ekeithen) "Went out and away from that place;" Mr 3:7 says "to the sea," or toward the sea, some distance from the synagogue, scene of the miracle of healing and subsequent plotting of the Pharisees and Herodians.

3) "And great multitudes followed him," (kai ekolouthesan auto polloi) "And there were many who followed him," who moved after Him, in the direction He was going, toward the sea. The time came when He did not withdraw, John 7:6; John 7:8; John 7:30; John 8:20; John 10:31; John 11:8.

4) "And he healed them all;" (kai etherrpeusen autous pantas) "And he healed them, all of them;" His works of mercy were not withheld from the needy, because of plots against His life, as He withdrew to a place near the sea of Galilee, for this further episode of healing and helping the needy, Matthew 10:23; Mr 3:7-12.

Verse 16

1) "And charged them," (kai epetimesen autois) "And he warned them," appealed to them, to those He healed.

2) "That they should not make him known:" (hina me phaneron auton poiesosin) "In order that (with the motive that) they should not make him manifest," or known, not try to make an hero of Him, to incite further hate from those who plotted against His life, and hinder His teaching and preaching ministry, Matthew 8:4; Mr 8:20,30.

Verse 17

1) "That it might be fulfilled," (hina plerothe) "in order that it might be fulfilled," come to occur or happen, as everything spoken by true prophets concerning the Messiah was and is fulfilled in Christ, Revelation 19:10.

2) "Which was spoken by Esaias the prophet, saying," (to hrethen dia Isaiou tou prophetou legontes) "The thing (event) spoken by Isaiah the prophet who said," concerning what they (the great multitudes) had just observed, Isaiah 42:1-4.

Verse 18

1) "Behold my servant, whom I have chosen;" (idou ho pais mou hon heretisa) "Behold my servant, whom I chose," Isaiah’s Servant of Jehovah, also described in humility, Philippians 2:5-8.

2) "My beloved, in whom my soul is well pleased:" (ho agapetos mou hon eudokesen he psuche mou) "My beloved with whom my soul is well pleased," as also announced at His baptism, Matthew 3:17; Matthew 17:5.

3) "I will put my spirit upon him," (theos to pnema mou ep’ auton) "I will put, place, or set my spirit upon him," which began at -- His baptism and continued through His ministry, Luke 4:16 -- to His resurrection, Romans 8:11.

4) "And he shall shew judgment to the Gentiles." (kai krisin tois ethnesin apangelei) "And he will announce judgement to the nations," make known to the Gentiles or other races, other than the Jews or Israel, upon Israel’s rejection of Him, and His church, Matthew 10:5-8. This church "ye" that Jesus chose was commissioned to bear the testimony of Jesus Christ, as Savior and Lord, to all nations, to the Gentiles, after the Jews had rejected Him and His New Covenant church, John 15:16; John 15:26-27; Luke 24:46-49; Acts 1:8-9; Acts 15:14.

Verse 19

1) "He shall not strive, nor cry;" (ouk erisel oude kraugasei) "He will not shout or strive," resort to ostentatious publicity, as a motivation of people to receive and follow Him, like political parties did.

2) "Neither shall any man hear his voice in the streets.” (oude akousei tis en tais plateiais ten phonen autou) "Nor will anyone hear his voice in the streets." He was not a street-crier or street-preacher, lest He be identified either with the hypocrite-Pharisees and Sadducees or with politics and civil affairs. He was not an ostentatious, rabble rouser, an emotional excitement-motivating teacher or preacher. That is, He did not resort to the sensational to get crowds, nor would He have His church do so. He did not even one time go to the market places to buttonhole a crowd or get their attention like the Pharisees and Sadducees did, Matthew 6:2; Matthew 6:5.

Verse 20

1) "A bruised reed shall he not break," (kalamon suntetrimmenon ou kateaksei) "A reed that has been bruised he will not (proceed to) break," A wounded heart He will not crush mercilessly. He shows mercy, binds up, and heals instead, Psalms 147:3; Isaiah 57:15; Isaiah 61:1; Luke 4:18.

2) "And smoking flax shall he not quench," (kai linon tuphomenon ou sbesei) "And flax that is smoking, he will not quench, or put out," a good or holy desire, yet lingering on which man has not acted, He will not extinguish or put out, without hope, Revelation 3:2; Revelation 3:19.

3) "Till he send forth judgment unto victory." (heos an ekbale eis nikos ten krisin) "Even until he puts forth judgement unto victory," even until the hour of final triumph of truth, mercy, and justice for every weak and wounded child or servant of His that has fallen on the field of service. What He has begun in every believer, He will perform, Philippians 1:6, Hebrews 13:5; Colossians 2:2.

Verse 21

1) "And in his name," (kai to onomati autou) "And in the name of him," of Jesus Christ, by His name, or authority and promise, His pledge of eternal life and care, John 10:27-29; John 5:24; John 6:37; John 6:40; John 6:44.

2) "Shall the Gentiles trust." (ethne elpiousin) "Gentiles or nations will hope," with assurance of His everlasting care, with Christ in them, "the hope of glory," and "the blessed hope," Romans 1:15-16; Romans 15:12; Colossians 1:27; Titus 2:13.

Verse 22


1) "Then was brought unto him," (tote prosenechthe auto) "Then (at that moment) there was brought to him," to Jesus for help.

2) "One possessed with a devil," (daimonizomenos) "A demon-possessed man," a man mentally and emotionally deranged, a demonized person.

3) "Blind, and dumb:" (tuphlos kai kophos) "As well as blind and dumb," (Kai etherapeusen auton) "And he healed him," of both his physical afflictions, and mental derangement of demon obsession. He had healed one that was dumb only, Matthew 9:32.

4) "Insomuch that the blind and dumb both spoke and saw." (hoste ton kophon lalein kai blepein) "So as to cause the dumb, afflicted man both to speak and to see," or to the effect that the one who was brought to Him for help was healed by Jesus completely so that he could, 1) See, 2). Speak 3) and control himself emotionally and mentally. Speech is the light or influence of the mind, cast forth to bless or to curse others. Luke 11:14 describes the dumbness of the man only, not disclosing that he had also been blind. Yet all witnesses agree that the cure effected the well being of the whole man.

Verse 23

1) "And the people were amazed, and said," (kai eksistanto pantes hoi ochloi kai elegon) "And all the crowds were astonished and said to one another," as witnesses of the mighty miracles of Jesus, John 3:2; Hebrews 2:4.

2) "Is not this the son of David?" (meti autos estin ho huois David?) "This is (now is come) the son of David, isn’t it?" This, means these people believed that Jesus was the Messiah, who was to come as the son of David, when they observed this miracle, Isaiah 11:1; John 7:21; John 9:16.

Verse 24

1) "But when the Pharisees heard it, they said," (hoi de Pharisaioi akousantes eipon) "Then the Pharisees, upon hearing what the people said," those who came down from Jerusalem, responded with the following derogatory charges, to add their uncertainty and skepticism to the wonder of the masses, Mr 3:22,30.

2) "This follow doth not cast out devils," (houtos ouk ekballei ta daimonia) "This man (Jesus) does not expel the demons;" With contemptuous expression they admitted he cast out demons. But their prejudice and murderous bigotry is evident in their false charge that follows, Matthew 12:14.

3) "But by Beelzebub the prince of the devils." (ei me em to Beelzeboul arahonti ton daimonion) "Unless it is by means, instrument, or agency of Beelzebub, who is the chief ruler of the demons," or unless he is the Devil himself, Matthew 10:25. Note First, that the enemies could not deny that His miracles were genuine, and Second, that they believed in the existence of an organized band of evil or fallen spirits called demons, perhaps fallen angels, Matthew 9:34; Luke 11:15; Luke 11:20.

Verse 25

1) "And Jesus knew their thoughts, and said unto them," (eidos de tas enthumesis auton eipen autois) "Then Jesus, who knew their thoughts, said directly and openly to them," Ps 139:2,25; Matthew 9:4; Luke 5:22; Luke 6:8. When they saw that He knew their thoughts, and they knew His miracles were real, would they not have been convinced, except blinded by their own prejudice and bigotry, by the god of this world? 2 Corinthians 4:4.

2) "Every kingdom divided against itself," (pasa basileia meristheisa kath’ heautes) "Every kingdom arrayed or divided against itself," with fighting among its own citizens. This He said to counter their thoughts, Mr 3:24.

3) "Is brought to desolation;" (eremoutai) "is brought to dissolution," desolation, or disintegration, or to be broken up. The argument is irrefutable. No organized society can stand when turned against itself. It rather self-destructs, destroys itself.

4) "And every city or house divided against itself," (kai pass polls a oikia meristheisa kath’ heautes) "And every city or household divided against itself," with dissension and strife, has fatal instability, even in governments and kingdoms, Mr 3:25.

5) "Shall not stand." (ou stathesetai) "Simply will not stand," a thing abundantly -evident, and illustrated from history of families and nations, Luke 11:17.

Verse 26

1) "And if Satan cast out Satan," (kai ei ho Satanas ton satanan ekballei) "And what is more evident is, that if Satan expels Satan," as you Pharisees reason or assert, Matthew 12:24. Even Jesus credited the devil of having more reason than a fool, to destroy his own house or kingdom.

2) "He is divided, against himself;" (eph’ heauton emeristhe) "He is divided against himself," isn’t he? But the works that Jesus did were destructive to Satan’s kingdom of darkness, sin, ravaging diseases, and mental derangement, or demon possession. The people understood this. To charge that Jesus was in colleague with Satan was incredible and absurd even to the unlearned, see? Matthew 13:39.

3) "How shall then his kingdom stand?" (pos oun stathesetai he basileia autou) "How then, will his kingdom be able to stand?" Would you explain it to all these people, please? is the idea. Or is his kingdom to fall by his own hands? If so, should they not rather rejoice that Satan’s kingdom was falling through covert, internal strife? Revelation 20:10; Mr 3:26; Luke 11:18-19.

That Satan empowered Jesus to cast his own demons out of men was an evident absurdity, too silly and stupid for sane people to accept is the right conclusion of the Pharisee charges against Him, Matthew 12:24.

Verse 27

1) "And if I by Beelzebub cast out devils," (kai ei ego en Beezeboul ekballo ta diaimonia) "And if I expel demons by the instrument, agency, or power of Beelzebub," as you Pharisees charge.

2) "By whom do your children cast them out?" (hoi huioi humon en tini ekballousin) "By what means, instrument, or agency or power do your sons or children expel them?" Some who professed this power traveled as exorcists among them; these were fake healers, but no more fake than the religion of the Pharisees, Acts 19:13-18.

3) "Therefore they shall be your judges." (dia touto autoi kritai esontai humon) "They therefore shall be your judges," or pass judgment regarding you all; You Pharisees, your own conclusion in this matter, Luke 9:49-50; Luke 10:17.

Verse 28

1) "But if I cast out devils by the Spirit of God," (ei de en pneumati theou ego ekballo ta daimonia) "Then if I expel the demons by the Spirit of God," as I certainly do; By that same- spirit He had empowered and sent out the twelve and the seventy apostles to do the same, Matthew 10:1; Matthew 10:5; Luke 10:1; Luke 17-1.

2) "Then the kingdom of God is come unto you." (ara ephthasen ep’ humas he basileia tou theou) "The kingdom of God has already come upon you all;" "is in their midst already," Luke 17:20-21. In a restricted and original sense, it is repeatedly among them, from whom Jesus had already ordained and sent out apostles to do His New Covenant work and witness, Luke 11:20-23. These apostles were gathering followers to Jesus.

Verse 29

1) "Or else how can one enter Into a strong man’s house," (e pos dunati tis eiselthein eis ten oikian tou ischurou) "Or how can anyone enter into the residence of the strong man;" Can the prey be taken from the mighty by the weaker? is the question. See Isaiah 49:24-25.

2) "And spoil his goods," (kai ta skeve autou harpasai) "And seize his household vessels," to carry them away or destroy them, Luke 11:21-22; Matthew 10:7-8.

3) "Except he first bind the strong man?" (ean me proton dese ton ischuron;) "Unless he first binds the strong man?" Is powerful enough to immobilize the strong man, the householder first? Jesus came to destroy Satan, loose souls who were and are captive to Satan and fear, and set them free, Hebrews 2:14-15.

4) “And then he will spoil his house." (kai tole ten oikean autou diarpasei) "And then (when he has bound the strong man) he will plunder his residence," and his soul too, if he can first conquer the will of every man who is a free moral agent of his own destiny; Revelation 20:2; Isaiah 49:24; Isaiah 53:12; Isaiah 55:6-7; Revelation 22:17.

Verse 30

1) "He that Is not with me is against me," (ho me on met’ ernou kat’ emou estin) "The one who is not with me is against me," is in a state of anarchy, rebellion, or total rejection of me. And that one was Satan, in whose service the Pharisees were ignorantly engaged, John 5:39; John 8:44.

2) “And he that gathereth not with me," (kai ho me sunagon met emou) "And the person who is not progressively gathering (fellowshipping) or going along with me," in my "kingdom of heaven," or church work, that He began in calling His disciples, choosing, and ordaining apostles to go forth as fruit bearers and reapers for Him, John 15:16; John 15:27.

3) "Scattereth abroad." (skorpizei) "He is scattering, disintegrating, --or wasting abroad." He is an obstructionist, an hinderer of my work, as the Pharisees, Sadducees, Scribes, Sanhedrin, and Herodians were, those who eventually crucified our Lord, Matthew 23:13-15.

Satan-is the scatterer, waster of the souls and lives of men. Jesus is the gatherer, Savior, and preserver of men, Acts 4:12; Romans 1:16.

Verse 31

1) "Wherefore I say unto you," (dia touto lego humin) "Therefore I tell you specifically” as regards attributing the work of the Lord to the Devil, rather than to Divine power through the Spirit of the Lord, that anointed Him for the miraculous ministry, Luke 4:16-20.

2) "All manner of sin and blasphemy," (pasa hamartia kai blasphemia) "That all (kind of) sin or anarchy and blasphemy;" All lawless acts and all blasphemy, which is speaking against holy, consecrated, or Divine persons, places and things.

3) "Shall be forgiven unto men:" (aphethesetai tois anthropois) "Will be forgiven (or pardoned) to men," Acts 13:38-39; Romans 3:22; Romans 3:24. Who seek such pardon or forgiveness, through Him who died to redeem from all (all kinds) of iniquity, Titus 2:14; John 6:37.

4) "But the blasphemy against the Holy Ghost," (he de tou pneumatos blasphemia) "Yet, the blasphemy of the Spirit;" To attribute the work of Christ to the Devil, is not "The blasphemy against the Holy Ghost," for Paul attributed the work of Jesus Christ and the church to the Devil before he was saved, yet he found pardon, in spite of his blasphemy, Acts 8:1; Acts 8:3; Acts 9:1-2; Acts 26:9-11; Galatians 1:13.

5) "Shall not be forgiven unto men." (ouk aphethesetai) "Will not be forgiven or pardoned," for anyone who commits it. The term "The blasphemy against the Holy Ghost," or Spirit, seems to be the "final no," a sinner "blabs" against the Holy Spirit. It appears to be, not merely blaspheming or deriding, directly or indirectly the Holy Spirit, but a particular "final act," of rebellion against His voice and call, so that the danger is, none knows when the Holy Spirit is calling him for that final time, Heb 4:7-1 Proverbs 29:1; Proverbs 1:21-29.

Verse 32

1) "And whosoever speaketh a word against the Son of man," (kai hor ean lipe logon kata tou huiou tou anthropou) "And whoever speaks a word against the Son of Man," in a downing, derogatory manner.

2) "It shall be forgiven him:" (apothesetai auto) "it will be forgiven to him," as Paul did, as Peter did in denying the Lord, even with an- oath, and as Thomas did, each of whom found forgiveness and restoration to God’s favor, Matthew 26:72; John 20:24-25; Luke 22:32.

3) "But whosoever speaketh against the Holy Ghost," (hos d’ an eipe kata tou pneumatos tou hagiou) "Yet the one who speaks against the Holy Spirit," the "blasphemy type," in impenitence, not knowing when the Spirit calls for a final time, the limited time" of Hebrews 4:7; Proverbs 29:1.

4) "It shall not be forgiven him," (ouk aphethesetai auto) "it will not be forgiven to him," when suddenly that "last conscious call" of the Holy Spirit says "today," 2 Corinthians 6:2; Hebrews 3:7; Revelation 22:17; Isaiah 55:6-7.

5) "Neither in this world," (oute en touto aioni) "Neither in this age," the Gentile age.

6) "Neither in the world to come." (oute en to mellonti) "Nor in the one that is coming," the age (eternal age) that is to follow; For it is appointed unto all once to die, after this the judgment, Hebrews 9:27. While the spirit woos, reproves, convicts, calls to repentance, one may be saved; But when one says "no" to God’s call through the Spirit, he never knows when it may be the final "no," the blasphemy against His call, today! Such is the danger! Proverbs 1:22-30; Proverbs 27:1; Proverbs 29:1; Hebrews 4:7.

Verse 33


V. 33-37

1) "Either make the tree good, and his fruit good;" (e polesate to dendron kalon kai ton karpon autou kalon) "You all either make the tree good, and its fruit good;" This is done by, 1) Planting good seed, 2) Or grafting good stock, so that the tree is good, and produces good fruit, else it is bad, wild and produces bad fruit, displeasing to the owner, Jeremiah 2:21; Romans 11:17-24; Isaiah 5:1-7.

2) "Or else make the tree corrupt and his fruit corrupt:" (e poiesate to dendron sapron kai ton karpon autou sapron) "Or make the tree bad (in a moral sense) and its fruit morally bad," or corrupt. The good tree is, or refers to, the new nature (the Divine nature) of man that produces -good words, works, fruit and character. The corrupt tree is the old, carnal, nature that produces only leaves, or bad fruit, Matthew 7:17-18.

3) "For the tree is known by his fruit." (ek gar tou karpou to dendron ginosketai) "Because by the nature or kind of fruit the tree bears, the tree is known," or identified, Matthew 7:19-20. The idea is "like produces like," in kind. Truth in nature is the finger and voice of God. Only a half-blind, badly astigmatized person, would mistake a fig for a thorn, or a grape for an apple.

Verse 34


1) "0 generation of vipers," (gennemata echidnon) "0 ye offspring of vipers," venomous serpents, having or holding, the nature or disposition of demons themselves, or that old serpent from Eden, the Devil, Genesis 3:1; Genesis 3:5; Genesis 3:13-14; Matthew 3:7.

2) "Now can ye, being evil, speak good things?" (pos dunasthe agathe lalein poneroi ontes) "How are you all able to speak good or ideal things, while being or existing as wicked ones from the heart?" They were given an I.D. (identification) of snake-hearted hypocrites, and children of the Devil, the occasion of their carping criticism of Jesus, His disciples and all that He did, Matthew 23:33; John 8:44.

3) "For out of the abundance of the heart," (ek gar tou perisseumatos tes kardios) "Because out of the overflow of the heart (the seat of emotional affections)" Matthew 15:18-20; Jeremiah 17:9. What man is in heart, is expressed in what he says in words. His speech "betrayeth" him, gives him away, Matthew 26:73.

4) "The mouth speaketh." (to stoma lalei) "The mouth speaks repeatedly," reflecting what is in the heart, Psalms 37:30-31; Psalms 51:2; Proverbs 16:21; Proverbs 16:24; and man gives account of his words, decisions expressed, and even idle words, Matthew 12:36-37.

Verse 35

1) "A good man," (ho agathos anthropos) "The good man," who is pure in heart, Matthew 5:8, the man who is of a new or regenerate heart, comparing with a good tree, in contrast with a corrupt tree, Matthew 12:33.

2) "Out of the good treasure of the heart," (ek tou agathou thesaurou) "Out of the source of the good heart treasury," Psalms 24:4; Also called the Divine nature or new nature; Such an heart is purified by faith, Acts 15:9; Romans 10:10.

3) "Bringeth forth good things." (ekballei agatha) "Repeatedly speaks forth and brings out good (morally, ethically, and spiritually) good things," or good fruit from the good or new nature, quickened within him in regeneration, Proverbs 10:20; Matthew 7:17; Galatians 5:22-25; 2 Peter 1:4-8.

4) "And an evil man out of the evil treasure," (kai ho poneros anthropos ek tou ponerou thesaurou) "And the wicked man (the unregenerate man), out of the source of the wicked heart treasury," Jeremiah 17:9; Matthew 15:18-19.

5) "Bringeth forth evil things." (ekballe! ponera) "Speaks or brings out and puts forth wicked ideas and things," as a natural fruit of the corrupt nature of his carnal birth, Mr 7:21; Luke 6:43-45.

The good man produces good things and good fruit, opposite of that of the viper-nature, the corrupt nature. In Matthew 12:34 the heart is presented as a fountain from which speech overflows. The serpentine vituperations of the Pharisees against Jesus was therefore an overflow of their own evil hearts, as they ascribed to Him the position of the Devil, as presiding over demon spirits, Matthew 12:24.

Verse 36

1) "But I say unto you that every idle word that men shall speak," (lego de humin) "Yet, I say to you all," (hoti pan hrama argon ho lalesousin hoi anthropoi) "That every idle conversation that men will speak," will be engaged in speaking, not just wicked words, but useless, foolish, frivolous words, Ephesians 4:29; Ephesians 5:4; Colossians 4:6.

2) "They shall give account thereof," (apodosousin peri autou logon) "They will render an account concerning it," because of nobler purposes for which the tongue was made, Romans 14:12; 2 Corinthians 5:10; Ecclesiastes 11:9.

3) "In the day of judgment." (en henera jriseos) "In (the) day or time of judgment," or time of accounting for life’s thoughts, decisions, and acts, Ecclesiastes 12:13-14.

Verse 37

1) "For by thy word’s thou shalt be justified," (ek gar ton logon sou dikaiothese) "Because by your words that you have spoken, you will be justified or acquitted;" Words constitute man’s confession and profession, or rejection, and a basis of condemnation, Romans 10:10; For words express belief, or unbelief of the heart, James 3:2; Luke 19:22; Luke 18:9-14; 1 Timothy 5:13.

2) "And by thy words thou shalt be condemned." (kai ek ton logon sou katadikasthese) "And by means of your words (you have spoken), you will be condemned;" This is why one should be careful where and with whom he walks, stands, and sits, because men communicate good and evil to bless or to curse those about them, Psalms 1:1-6; Romans 14:7.

Verse 38


V. 38-42

1) "Then certain of the scribes and Pharisees answered, saying," (tote apekrithesan auto ton grammateon kai Pharisaion legontes) "At that point certain ones of both the Scribes and Pharisees challenged him with ulterior motives, repeatedly saying," mockingly, in derision, in skepticism, Luke 11:16; Luke 11:29; John 2:18; John 4:48; John 6:30; 1 Corinthians 1:22 reads, "For the Jews require a sign.

2) "Master, we would see a sign from thee." (didaskale thelomen apo sou semeion edein) "Teacher we really wish directly from you to see a sign;" They thus gave evidence that they had rejected all prophetic signs and testimonies that had been spoken and fulfilled regarding Him, such as: 1) The virgin birth sign, Isaiah 7:14; Matthew 1:22-23; 2) The city, country, and family lineage sign, Micah 5:2; Matthew 2:4-6; Luke 2:4; Luke 2:20; 3) The calling out of Egypt sign, Hosea 11:1; Matthew 2:13-15; 4) The Nazarene sign Isaiah 11:1; Matthew 2:23; 5) The Baptism sign and testimony of John the Baptist, Matthew 3:1-3; Matthew 3:13-17; John 1:6; John 1:30-33; and 6) All the miracles He had already publicly performed before their eyes, Mr 2:5-12; John 3:2; John 20:30-31.

Jesus Iater referred to those custodians, or caretakers and interpreters of the law of Moses, as a "wicked and adulterous generation," and as hypocrites, Matthew 16:1-4. Why? Because they were perverters and distorters of the very law they were paid to teach in truth. And according to our Lord, they would not have believed, though He had raised one "another one," from the dead, Luke 16:31; Mr 7:5-9,13; John 8:24.

Verse 39

1) "But he answered and said unto them," (ho de apokritheis eipen autois) "Then, replying he said directly to them," knowing the ulterior motives of their request, knowing what was in man, Psalms 94:11; John 2:25.

2) "An evil and adulterous generation," (genea ponera kai moichalis) "A spiritually wicked and adulterous generation," in fact both literally and figuratively, an adulterous generation, which they were, Matthew 5:32; James 4:4.

3) “Seeketh after a sign;" (semeion epizetei), "Seeks a sign," something special for themselves, 1 Corinthians 1:22; Matthew 16:3-4.

4) "And there shall be no sign given unto it," (kai serneion ou dothesetai aute) "And there shall be no sign (no further sign at all) given to it," to this wicked and spiritually adulterous generation of Israel, Luke 11:29.

5) "But the sign of the prophet Jonas:" (ei me to semeion Iona tou prophetou) "Except the sign (that sign) of the prophet Jonah," Luke 11:30.

Verse 40

1) "For as Jonas was three days and three nights," (hosper gar hen lonas treis hemeras kai treis nuktas) "For just as Jonah was for three days and three nights," as confirmed by the testimony of the prophet Jonah, and here certified by our Lord, Jonah 1:17; John 2:18-22; Matthew 17:23; Matthew 20:19.

2) "In the whales belly;" (en te koilia tou ketous) "In the belly of the sea monster, (whale)," that was prepared of the Lord to swallow Jonah, Luke 11:30.

3) "So shall the Son of man be," (houtos estia ho uios tou anthropou) "So also (in like manner) the Son of man will be (exist)," Matthew 16:21; Matthew 26:32; Mr 8:31; 10:34; Matthew 26:61; Luke 18:31-33.

4) "Three days and three nights in the heart of the earth." (en te kardia tes ges treis hemeras kai treis nuktas) "For a period of three days and three nights in the heart of the earth," Matthew 27:63; Or sealed beneath the surface of the earth, referred to prophetically, by David as "not being left or abandoned) to hell," or permitted: to see corruption, putrefication, or decomposition, Psalms 16:10; Acts 2:30-31; Ephesians 4:8-10. See also Luke 9:22; Luke 18:33; Luke 24:6-7.

Verse 41

1) "The men of Nineveh shall rise," (andres Ninevitai anastesontai) "Ninevite men will stand up," to witness their repentance to God their obedience to God at the preaching of Jonah they shall stand up quickly, voluntarily to witness, Jonah 3:5.

2) "In judgment with this generation," (en te krisei meta tes geneas tautes) "In the judgment with this generation," of Christ rejecting Jews, as taught Ecclesiastes 12:13-14; When Jesus shall judge all men, John 5:22; John 5:27; John 5:30.

3) "And shall condemn it:" (kai katakrinousin auten) "And they will condemn it," by their testimony, that they responded to the Divine call to repentance for their sins, Acts 17:30-31.

4) "Because they repented at the preaching of Jonas;" (hoti meteneosan eis to kerugma Iona) "Because they repented with respect to the proclamation or preaching of Jonah," Jonah 3:5.

5) "And behold, a greater than Jonas is here." (kai dou pleion Iona hode) "And behold a greater one than Jonah is here," or a greater challenge than that of Jonah confronts you all, Luke 11:32.

Verse 42

1) "The queen of the south," (basilissa notou) "The queen of the south," or queen of Sheba, to the south of Israel, said by some to be Abyssiania or Ethiopia, and believed by others to be, Saba, chief city of Yemen in Arabia, 1 Kings 2:2; 2 Chronicles 9:1-31

2) "Shall rise up in the judgment," (egerthesetai en keisei) "Will be raised in the judgment," or will arise of here own accord, voluntarily, after having been raised of the Lord, seems to be the more definitive idea, Romans 8:11.

3) "With this generation, and shall condemn it:" (meta es geneas toutes kai katakrinei auten) "With this (wicked and adulterous) generation, and she will condemn it," Matthew 16:4.

4) "For she came from the uttermost parts of the earth," (hoti elthen ek ton peraton tes ges) "Because she came out of the limits of the earth," as far as inhabitants were then known, where she had traveled abroad, Luke 11:31.

5) "To hear the wisdom of Solomon;" (akousai ten sophian Solomonos) "To give heed to the wisdom of Solomon," regarding a quest for the best for man under the sun, 2 Chronicles 9:1-12.

6) "And, behold, a greater than Solomon is here." (kai idou pleion Solomonos hode) "And behold a greater thing than the wisdom and testimony and works of Solomon is here," here confronting you Scribes and Pharisees; This one is greater in wisdom, descent, kingly power, etc. Luke 1:31-33; 1 Corinthians 15:24.

Verse 43



1) "When the unclean spirit Is gone out of a man," (hotan de to akatharton pneuma ekelthe apo tou anthropou) "Now when the unclean spirit (demon spirit) goes out from a man, of his own choice," Luke 11:24-26. Jesus turns here, from the Pharisees, back to the subject of Matthew 12:30; These unclean spirits are described, Matthew 10:1; Mr 1:27; 3:11; 5:13; 6:7; Luke 4:36; Acts 5:16; Acts 8:7.

2) "He walketh through dry places," (dierchetai di’ anudron topon) "He goes through dry places as he wills," much as the Devil "goeth about," seeking whom he may devour," 1 Peter 5:8; Job 1:6-12. Restlessly he stalks about, unsettled, with fear, like unsaved, wicked men, Isaiah 57:20-21.

3) "Seeking rest," (zetou anapausin) "Seeking a place to settle down or abide, seeking a person or place of occupancy for himself as "an unclean, demon, or deranged spirit being, like, an unsaved man, Job 15:20-21.

4) "And findeth none." (kai ouch heurikei) "And he finds not a place," on his own, or by his own seeking, Luke 11:24; restlessness, and sounds of fear follow him wherever he goes, so much like it does a sinner held in his power, Hebrews 2:14-15; Proverbs 4:14-16.

Verse 44

1) "Then he saith, I will return into my house," (tote legei eis ton oikon mou epistrepso) "Then, at that point he says, I will return into my residence," from which I left of my own volition, my own residence with which I became dissatisfied and abandoned, just walked away, Luke 11:26.

2) "From whence I came out;" (othen ekselthon) "Out from which I came," some time ago, as he went wandering forth, perhaps like the Devil "seeking whom he might devour," 1 Peter 5:8-9.

3) "Arid when he is come, he findeth it empty," (kai elthon heuriskei scholazonta) "And upon coming (to it) he finds it standing vacant," empty, without occupancy, as he left it, when he went out. Emptiness is an enticement to evil occupancy in any heart.

4) "Swept, and garnished." (kai sesaromenon kai kekosmemenon) "And the residence had been both swept and furnished," cleaned up, Luke 11:35; Job 15:20-25. It was prepared for, open for, unguarded from pollution that follows.

Verse 45

1) "Then goeth he, and taketh with himself," (tote poreuetai kai paralambanei meth’ heautou) "At that point he wandered into the residence and took with himself," took along, in addition to his own unclean spirit; As "birds of a feather flock together," so do demons and demon controlled or influenced men, Luke 11:26.

2) "Seven other spirits more wicked than himself," (hepta hetera pneumata ponerotera heautou) "Seven other kinds of spirits more wicked than himself;" Let it be noted that the first unclean spirit was a wicked spirit, but that the seven who returned with him were more wicked than himself. "Birds of a feather flock together," Luke 11:26.

3) "And they enter in and dwell there:" (kai eiselthonta katoikei ekei) "And they went in of their own will and took up residence there:" These seven "more wicked spirits," seem to refer to masters of deadly sins that are an abomination to the Lord, Proverbs 6:16-19.

4) "And the last state of that man is worse than the first." (kai ginetai ta eschata tou anthropou ekeinou cheirona ton proton) "And the last things of that man were worse than the first things he did," before his carnal reformation.

5) "Even so shall it be also unto this wicked generation." (houtos estai kai te genea taute te ponera) "Just like this it will be also to this wicked generation," that demanded a sign from heaven, Matthew 12:38; Matthew 16:1; 1 Corinthians 1:22, of you ceremonial, ritualistic, Messiah rejecting scribes, Pharisees and Sadducees who are obsessed by unclean spirits, Matthew 24:34.

Verse 46


1) "While he (Jesus) was still speaking to the crowds," with the Pharisees and Sadducees and Scribes yet among them, Matthew 12:23-24; Matthew 12:38.

2) "Behold, his mother and his brethren stood without," (idou he meter kai hoi adelphoi autou heistekeisan ekso) "Behold his mother, Mary, and his brothers (half brothers) stood outside," perhaps the entire family, his kinsmen in the flesh, named Matthew 13:55-56.

3) "Desiring to speak with him." (zetountes auto lalesai) "Desiring or seeking an opportunity to speak to him," as also recounted Mr 3:31-35; Luke 8:19-21. They were both anxious about His health and safety, and disapproved His words, Mr 3:21,31.

Verse 47

1) "Then one said unto him," (eipen de tis auto) "Then someone within said to him," Luke 8:19-20.

2) "Behold, thy mother and thy brethren stand without," (edou he meter sou kai hoi adelphoi sou ekso hestekasin) "Behold your mother and your brothers are standing outside," waiting, wanting a word with you, Mr 3:31,32.

3) "Desiring to speak with thee." (zetountes soi lale sai) "Seeking (an opportunity) or desiring to speak to you," yet not desiring to interrupt His address, or stir up, aggravate the crowds. Luke states "desiring to see thee," Luke 8:20.

Verse 48

1) "But he answered and said unto him that told him," (ho de apokritheis eipen to legonti auto) "Then he replied to the one who had brought him the message," Matthew 12:47.

2) "Who is my mother?" (tis estin he meter mou) "Who is really my mother," who exists as my mother? His "Father," in heaven was more important to Him than His mother on earth. This, in no way, implies that He despised or dishonored Mary, His Mother, Ephesians 6:2.

3) "And who are my brethren?" (kai tines estin hoi adelphol mou) "And who are (exists as) my brothers?" Nor did He despise His earthly brethren. He simply indicated that, His priority was His Father’s will and work first; His church brethren second; and His human family ties; third, Human ties were not to interfere with His Father’s will, or with His character and mission on earth, John 4:34; Ephesians 5:17.

Verse 49

1) "And he stretched forth his hand," (kai ekteinas ten autou eipe) "And he (then) stretched forth the hand," gesturing with emphasis impressively, to enforce His words.

2) "Toward his disciples, and said," (epi tous math, etes autou eipe) "On or toward his disciples, he said," to emphasize that fidelity to the calling and choosing of God for Him and for them should have first place in their lives, always, Luke 9:23.

3) "Behold my mother and my brethren!" (idou he meter mou kai hoi adelphoi mou) "Behold my mother and, my brothers." This is an incontestable testimony and protest against the idolatrous Roman Catholic claim that Mary, the Mother of Jesus, after His birth, remained a Virgin all the days of her life, never died, and was bodily assumed up into heaven, Matthew 13:55-56; Mr 13:32; John 6:42.

Verse 50

1) "For whosoever shall do the will," (hostis gar an poiese to thelema) "Because whoever he be that does the Spiritual or highest Will," John 6:28-29; John 7:17; Ephesians 5:17; Romans 12:1-2.

2) "Of my Father which is in heaven," (tou patros mou tou en ouranois) "Of my Father in (the) heavens," thus claiming Divinity for Himself, above earthly ties to Joseph the carpenter, John 6:42.

3) "The same is my brother," (autos mou adelphos), "He is my brother," that one is my brother, by spiritual generation, John 6:63; 1 John 5:1.

4) "And sister, and, mother." (kai adelphe kai meter estin) "And is my sister and my mother." the one male or female, doing the high, holy, Spiritual nature will of the Heavenly Father, Ephesians 6:6. He is not ashamed to call them brethren and sister, of closest Divine ties, who do the will of His Father, See? Colossians 4:12; Hebrews 2:11-12, asserts that His highest will, and that of the Father, is done today through service and praise in His church, Ephesians 3:21.

Bibliographical Information
Garner, Albert & Howes, J.C. "Commentary on Matthew 12". Garner-Howes Baptist Commentary. https://www.studylight.org/commentaries/eng/ghb/matthew-12.html. 1985.
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